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BEWARE. You are about to enter a freedom zone. No censorship. No stereotypes. And completely biased. In my favor. This is my blog and it should be a genuine one. I will give my opinion on politics and governance, both local and international, law, and many other things - like vampires, books by Neil Gaiman, and the L.A. Lakers. In short, I will blog about anything I like. Or dislike.

I demand one thing before you view my random musings, rantings, hopes, and dreams: be open and have a sense of humor. Have that, and you are most welcome here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Bearable Lightness of Losing

I ran for the Philippine Senate. I lost. Five million Filipinos voted for me. A lot of them were Filipino Muslims from Lanao del Sur and the Autnomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Additionally, many young people, mostly college students, not only gave me their vote but also actively campaigned for me. But it wasn't enough. Far from it. Anyway, I knew I was a long shot from the start - little money, a neophyte candidate for public office, and running against established Senators, movies stars, and scions of the biggest and most powerful political dynasties. So I wasn't surprised at my loss. But it was painful nonetheless. Excruciatingly so for about a couple of hours. But I refused to dwell on it for more than a day. That's just my way: don't dwell on things I cannot do anything about and move forward as quickly as possible.

Back to reality. I took a week off - one wonderful, blissful week - spending it with my wife and two sons. No travel outside the country, we just stayed in Manila - except for one road trip to Batangas - because I missed my home after spending 90 days campaigning all over the Philippines. I relearned the joys of cable-surfing.

After that short vacation, On Tuesday, I was back in my Law Office in Ortigas. Time to earn a living for me and my family. In fact, it was time to start "really" living. Let me explain: my brief stint as a politican and a candidate has opened my eyes not only to the painful and heartbreaking realities about our political system but also to how much of Philippine politics is unreal, merely smoke and mirrors, illusions to fool the masses, get their votes, and hold on to power. Of course, it isn't always that way, there are some people in Philippine politics who have integrity, ethics, and vision. And there are times when the system works and we get good leaders. However, a lot of our politics is simply unreal and untruthful. So I look forward to the simple pursuits of working, serving my clients, earning a living, and spending more time with my family.

Finally, it is the family stuff that makes losing bearably light. I get to spend my days with my wife and kids. They remind me that my self-worth is not predicated on the number of votes I get but rather on what kind of father and husband I am and the measure of my character.


  1. I almost did not vote for you because of your party affiliation and the presidential candidate you were supporting. But I guess I was hoping that our Mindanao brothers will find their voice in you thats why I decided to shade your number before I submitted my ballot. Goodluck as you go back to your real world and somehow I hope you will still be able to help our countrymen.

  2. The very people like you is the hope of our nation! I hope you don't lose heart. Mabuhay ka Atty. Adel!

  3. Thank you Dadang and Richard. We all have a role to play in building our country. I'm going to figure out what mine is and I encourage both of you - and I'm sure you will - to do the same. Also, thanks for being the among the first to take note of my blog!

  4. Happy that you're back to blogging, sir. I will see to it that I pay you a visit when I fly back to Manila next week. There's something important that I need to tell you - which I've been meaning to let you know for more than a month na. Anyways, happy blogging and glad that you're back =)


  5. I was one of the millions who heard you loud and clear and believed in what you had to offer to the country. If there is one thing that you have that I think most politicians don't is that you have a big heart.

    After watching you at The Bottomline, all the more that I felt I made the right decision in voting for you. I just hope, that now that the whole election process is over and done with, that you start working privately for the betterment of Mindanao. This is your chance to make an impecable difference in the lives of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

    I truly believe that the country needs people like you. If there are things you want to do and you need help, holler and I will be the one of those who will be willing to volunteer.

  6. Hi Sir! I was a kinda sad about the election because most of my selected candidates lost it and you are one of them but I've never said to anyone that my votes were wasted. I've always believe that voting is about selecting the most qualified and not the winnable ones. Anyhow, you made me proud as I watched you last Saturday in The bottomline. You truly deserve my vote! More power to your future endeavors and I also agree that we can always be a tool for progress as we find our own roles in this country.We don’t really need to be in politics, it’s a matter of doing whatever your job is in the most decent and passionate way. (=